Atrioventricular junction ablation and pacemaker implantation for heart failure associated with atrial fibrillation: potential issues and therapies in the setting of acute heart failure syndrome
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Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia and is especially clinically important in patients with heart failure. Prolonged atrial fibrillation with high ventricular rate response may lead to development or worsening of left ventricular function. If adequate heart rate control cannot be obtained medically, often patients will undergo pacemaker implant and catheter ablation of the atrioventricular junction. This intervention can have profound effects on the course of heart failure. This article reviews the technique, complications, outcome data, and alternatives to this management strategy. The potential role of this therapeutic modality in those hospitalized with acute heart failure syndromes is discussed.